TAMPA (FOX 13) - The Gasparilla celebration added a spicy new addition to its pirates and beads - its own cooking sauce.
The sauce, and the chef who created it, lives up to the size of the event.
"Its the Voodoo experience for Gasparilla party festival," Voodoo Chef aka Erik Youngs said.
He's a captivating master chef who teaches the basics of cooking with his collection of sauces at the Epicurean Hotel.
He invited FOX 13 to one of his classes, where he showcased his signature Voodoo sauces and rubs for the classroom.
"This is our espresso rub. We are cooking with it tonight. It is off the charts," Chef Youngs said.
Chef Young's secret blend of ingredients are what helped his become the official sauces and seasonings of Gasparilla.
"To be able to be in that elite group of people who get to be able to be a part of a Tampa tradition, you can't put a price tag on that," Chef Youngs said.
Chef Youngs grew up in Tampa and always wanted to be a culinary chef. He came up with the name Voodoo Chef after a marketing company looked at his tattoo's and piercing.
"So I say, off the cuff, 'what says me?' and he said, 'dude if you told me Voodoo Chef, I would believe you," Youngs recalled. "I brought the name and we are rocking and rolling.
Now his culinary skills help others become better cooks.
"My background's restaurants. My background is growing people and that's what I am continuing to do, and if Voodoo can have a chance to help spread that message too, even better," Chef Youngs said.
Chef Young is an inspiring chef who touches so many with his spirit and enthusiasm, not to mention delicious sauces and seasonings. Now he adds his unique style to the traditions of Gasparilla.